Tag Archives: elk

News From Idaho: Most Fawns, Calves Surviving Winter; Springer Season Opens 4-27

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

Most radio-collared fawns and elk calves survived unusually snowy February

78 percent of fawns and 94 percent of calves were still alive through February, but they’re not safe yet

Despite February storms that battered much of Idaho and pushed snowpack and precipitation above average in most areas, radio-collared young fawns and elk calves were faring relatively well across the state through the end of February.

A RADIO-COLLARED MULE DEER RUNS THROUGH SAGEBRUSH IN SOUTHWEST IDAHO. (IDFG)

Idaho Fish and Game biologists have been monitoring 207 mule deer fawns and 201 elk calves captured earlier in the winter and fitted with telemetry collars.

Through the end of February, 78 percent of the collared fawns and 94 percent of the calves were still alive. That compares with 88 percent of the fawns and 97 percent of the calves surviving through February in 2017-18, and 55 and 80 percent in 2016-17.

While snowpacks and precipitation totals are above average for most of the state, the late arrival of winter weather in 2019 has made for an easier winter for big game than in 2016-17, according to Daryl Meints, State Deer and Elk manager for Fish and Game.

In 2016-17, a prolonged, severe winter resulted in some of the lowest survival rates recorded for mule deer fawns and elk calves. Prior to what was a record-setting February for snowfall for many areas in the state, 2018-19 winter had been a mild-to-average snowfall and temperatures for most of Idaho.

While the weather may be trending warmer so far in March this year, the young animals aren’t “out of the woods” yet. In fact, the March and April are often when fawn and calf mortality is the highest because the young animals’ fat reserves are rapidly depleting and their body’s need time to convert digesting fresh forage.

“April is crucial,” Meints said. “That’s the make-or-break month, when their gas tank is hitting empty. What is going to matter now is how soon winter ends, or how soon spring shows up.”

If the warm weather continues through the end of April, Meints expects fawn survival will fall somewhere in the average range, while calf survival will be above average.

“But if for some reason we get a weather system that is cloudy, cold, and wet, and we don’t get that spring green up on south-facing slopes, we could be in for some additional mortality,” Meints said.

People getting outdoors to recreate in the spring also need to be conscious and considerate of wildlife, particularly big game that remains on low-elevation winter ranges. Despite warmer temperatures and spring green up, deer, elk and pronghorn antelope still need to be left undisturbed to give young animals a better chance of surviving their critical first winter.

…………………

F&G Commission sets spring Chinook to open April 27

Limited fishing days on Clearwater, Salmon, and Little Salmon rivers, and the Upper Snake closed

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved spring Chinook fishing on the Clearwater, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers during their meeting on Wednesday, March 13 in Boise.

Fishing will open on April 27, with a two-day-a-week season on the Clearwater River and a four-day-a-week season on the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers. The season will run until sport anglers’ shares of the harvest are met (which varies by river) or Aug. 11 — whichever comes sooner.

Due to very low projected returns the Upper Snake River in Hells Canyon, fisheries managers did not propose to open a spring Chinook season for the fishery this year.

Chinook have just started entering the Columbia River and a small portion of them are working their way through Columbia/Snake river systems. Here’s current salmon counts at the dams.

Fisheries managers are forecasting a run of about 32,000 spring Chinook through Lower Granite Dam, which is about 25 miles downstream from Lewiston and the last of the eight dams that returning salmon cross on their way back to Idaho. The forecast is similar to last year’s actual return of 39,000, and below the 10-year average return of 75,000.

Included in the forecast are about 26,000 hatchery Chinook and 6,000 wild Chinook. The 2018 returns were 32,000 and 7,000, respectively, and the 10-year averages are 58,000 and 17,000. Forecasts are a starting point for managing Chinook returns, and they will be adjusted as fish migrate through the river systems.

Because the forecasted Chinook return for the Salmon River basin is about 8,700 fish, and the sport anglers’ share would be 1,430 fish this year. Fishing will be open Thursday through Sunday, with a limit of four total fish, only two of which may be adults.

For the Clearwater River basin, the projected return is about 9,400 adult fish, and the sport anglers’ harvest share would be 470. Fishing will be open on Saturday and Sunday, with a limit of four total fish, only one of which may be an adult.

Just 123 adult fish are projected to return the Upper Snake River in Hells Canyon, where fisheries managers do not expect a sport angler harvest share at all.

“Due to extremely high flows at Hells Canyon in 2017, we had high total dissolved gasses, which are potentially lethal to fish,” aid Jim Fredericks, Fish and Game’s Fisheries Bureau Chief. “In 2017, we chose to release the fish allocated for Hells Canyon at Rapid River instead, to ensure that they survived. For that reason, we have hardly any two-year-old fish coming back to Hells Canyon this year.”

Only hatchery Chinook with a clipped adipose fin may be kept by anglers, and all others must be released unharmed. Chinook anglers are restricted to barbless hooks.

Anglers should refer to the 2019 spring Chinook salmon seasons and rules brochure for other rules and special restrictions, which will be available online in early April, and in paper form prior to the spring Chinook season at Fish and Game offices and license vendors.

The Fish and Game Commission is scheduled to decide on summer Chinook salmon fisheries on the Lochsa River, South Fork Salmon River and upper Salmon River at its May meeting. Fish return to those areas later than to the Clearwater River and Rapid River hatcheries, allowing fishery managers more time to develop season proposals.

Waters open to fishing:

Clearwater River drainage — open Saturday and Sunday

  • Mainstream Clearwater River: Camas Prairie Bridge to Highway 12 Bridge; Pink House Boat Ramp to Greer Bridge
  • North Fork: Open, no boats
  • Middle Fork: Open
  • South Fork: Harpster Grade to Mount Idaho Grade Bridge.

Salmon River drainage — open Thursday through Sunday

  • Rice Creek Bridge to Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp
  • Entirety of Little Salmon River

Snake River — closed

Snow, Cold Leading WDFW To Close Eastern Blue Mtns. Wildlife Areas To Protect Big Game

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Two Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) wildlife areas (WLAs) and multiple units of other wildlife areas in southeast Washington are closed to public access until April. These closures are aimed at cutting down on disturbances to deer and elk struggling through extreme winter conditions.

BULL ELK GATHER NEAR A PONDEROSA ABOVE WASHINGTON’S GRANDE RONDE DURING 2016-17’S HARSH WINTER IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS. (WDFW)

Heavy snow loads and colder than normal temperatures are causing physical stress to wildlife in the area. The 4-O Ranch and Grouse Flats WLAs, along with the Weatherly Unit, Shumaker Unit, and all Asotin Creek WLA units south of the North Fork of Asotin Creek and Campbell Grade are closed to human activity. Minimizing contact between humans and animals will help the chances of survival for wildlife.

“The 2019 winter has been more severe than normal in February and elk and deer are at the lowest end of their nutritional state. It is thought that the fall drought, lack of fall green up, and the dry summer may have resulted in elk being in poorer than normal condition entering the winter. Elk and deer have been documented dying of starvation in places in southeast Washington. Reducing any further stress from disturbance will be important to maximize survival,” said Paul Wik, District Wildlife biologist

These closures will mostly impact shed hunters who use the approximately 27,190 affected acres to recover antlers dropped by deer and elk this time of year. Adjacent U.S. Forest Service public lands are still open for winter recreation activities at this time.


Concerned about closures in your area? Book the world’s best salmon and halibut fishing in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada. Click HERE to learn more.

“We know it’s an adjustment for the public, but we need their help. Abiding by the closure helps to protect our wildlife for long-term population health,” Wik said.

Closed areas are marked with signs to the extent possible. Fishing access is still available for the river corridor on the Shumaker unit. Motorized travel on county maintained roads through the areas is also still allowed.

More information on WDFW wildlife areas can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/

Elk Hoof Disease Confirmed In Washington’s Southeast Corner

Hoof disease in elk has turned up in Washington’s Blues, echoing confirmed cases on the Oregon side of the range and coming after Idaho earlier this month said an infected wapiti was harvested last fall across the Snake River from the mountains.

AN ELK’S HOOF AFFECTED BY THE CONDITION. (WDFW)

WDFW’s Kyle Garrison says hooves submitted by a muzzleloader hunter who killed the animal southeast of Walla Walla in mid-January came back late last week from a Washington State University lab as positive for treponeme-associated hoof disease.

The cow elk was taken on a permit in the Pikes Peak area of Game Management Unit 154.

Garrison says the initial belief is that there may not be more affected elk there, based on the high public visibility of the herd, but his agency plans to ramp up monitoring, including spending more time looking for limpers during upcoming aerial surveys.

The news was first reported by the Walla Walla Union Bulletin last night.

The disease makes it more difficult for elk to get around and there is no treatment for it, according to WDFW.


Concerned about closures in your area? Book the world’s best salmon and halibut fishing in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada. Click HERE to learn more.

Last year, after hoof disease was found in elk east of Washington’s Cascade Crest for the first time, the agency began euthanizing members of a Trout Lake herd, removing 12 through the end of 2018 through a combination of state staff and landowner efforts and special damage hunt permits.

Garrison says that he has two more sets of hooves from elk taken by master hunters to submit to WSU for testing.

“We’re still actively monitoring and actively removing limpers when we can” in the Trout Lake valley, he says.

Further west WDFW is conducting a four-year study of survival rates of infected cow elk, as well as the disease’s affects on fecundity and herd movement. Some 76 animals are part of the study.

To try and stop or slow the spread of hoof disease, WDFW is also proposing expanding the area where hooves must be left in the field to all of Western Washington.

That follows on recent confirmed cases just south of Olympic National Park and past years’ requirements that initially applied to just several units in the Cowlitz River basin, then all of Southwest Washington and units stretching up the I-5 corridor to Canada.

Public comment will be taken on the proposal at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting this Friday in Spokane.

Garrison also encouraged members of the public to share their sightings of limping elk, both recent ones and any they may have seen in the past.

With this latest confirmation, hoof disease isn’t just on the radar in Eastern Washington, but a growing threat there.

Hunt Rule Changes Up For Comment At WA FWC Meeting March 1-2 In Spokane

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The public will have an opportunity to provide input on new hunting seasons proposed through 2021 for deer, elk, waterfowl, and other game species at an upcoming meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in Spokane.

A PAIR OF HUNTING RULE CHANGES UP FOR PUBLIC COMMENT WOULD AFFECT WESTERN WASHINGTON ELK HUNTERS AND ARCHERS ACROSS THE STATE. (ONTARIO KNIFE CO. PHOTO CONTEST)

Other issues on the agenda include an update on the Columbia River Policy Review, proposed land acquisitions, and other topics.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will meet March 1-2 in the Inland Empire Room of the Ramada by Wyndham Spokane Airport, 8909 W. Airport Dr., Spokane. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. both days.

A full agenda is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

On Friday, the commission will hear a briefing and take public comments on recommended adjustments to the hunting season that include:


Concerned about closures in your area? Book the world’s best salmon and halibut fishing in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada. Click HERE to learn more.

  • Eliminating antlerless white-tailed deer hunts in game management units 101-121 in northeastern Washington to help conserve that area’s deer population.
  • Changing state archery rules to remove the minimum arrow weight restrictions.
  • Extending a rule requiring hunters to remove and leave behind the hooves of any elk harvested to all western Washington game management units. The requirement, aimed at reducing the spread of elk hoof disease, is currently in effect in 45 of the 61 game management units in western Washington.
  • Removing hunter orange requirements for turkey hunters except during general modern firearm deer and elk seasons.

In other business, the commission will receive a briefing and potentially give guidance on 2019 policies and regulations for Columbia Rivers salmon fisheries. The Joint Washington and Oregon Columbia River Salmon Fishery Policy Review Committee is working to find common ground on ways to achieve policy goals adopted in 2013 for jointly managed fisheries.

Prior to the start of the regular commission meeting, two committee meetings will be held on Thursday. The newly formed Wolf Advisory Committee, made up of commissioners Kim Thorburn, Jay Holzmiller, and Barbara Baker, will meet at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Executive Conference Room at the Spokane International Airport. The Wildlife Committee, made up of the same commissioners, meets at 3 p.m., in the same location. These meetings are open to the public to observe.

IDFG Reports On 2018 Deer, Elk Harvests

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

Hunters took more mule deer and fewer white-tailed deer in 2018 compared to 2017, while the elk harvest was similar between the two years — dropping by less than 2 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 elk harvest was about 15.4 percent above the 10-year average, and the overall deer harvest was less than 1 percent below the 10-year average. Although white-tailed deer harvest dipped in 2018 compared to 2017, gains in the mule deer harvest – largely from spike and two-point bucks – brought the overall deer harvest for 2018 above that of 2017 .

(IDFG)

ELK
At a glance
Total elk harvest: 22,325
Overall hunter success rate: 23.5 percent
Antlered: 11,326
Antlerless: 10,999
Taken during general hunts: 13,473 (18.2 percent success rate)
Taken during controlled hunts: 8,853 (42 percent success rate)

How it stacks up

The past few years have been a great time to be an elk hunter in Idaho; in fact, the current stretch is among the best in the state’s history. In 2018, elk harvest exceeded 20,000 for the fifth straight year. Going back to 1935, only a nine-year run that started in 1988 – the first year in that hunters harvested more than 20,000 elk in the state – and ran through the mid-1990’s ranks higher.

Harvest in 2018 was similar to 2017, down by just 426 total elk, or about 2 percent, from 2017. The antlered harvest dropped 325 animals, and the antlerless harvest fell by 101 animals. While lower than the prior year, 2018’s elk harvest was still the third-highest in the last decade, and the tenth-highest all time.

(IDFG)

MULE DEER
At a glance
Total mule deer: 26,977
Overall hunter success rate: 31.1 percent
Antlered: 21,471
Antlerless: 5,506
Taken during general hunts: 20,060 (27.1 percent success rate)
Taken during controlled hunts: 6,917 (55.3 percent success rate)

How it stacks up

Hunters harvested 1,480 more mule deer in 2018 than in 2017, an increase of 5.8 percent. The bump in harvest was a step in the right direction after a 31 percent drop in total harvest from 2016 to 2017. The statewide mule deer harvest in 2018 was about 3.5 percent lower than the 10-year average harvest of 27,969 animals.


Concerned about closures in your area? Book the world’s best salmon and halibut fishing in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada. Click HERE to learn more.

Leading up to the 2017 hunting season, Idaho’s mule deer population had been on an upswing, but a tough winter across most of Southern Idaho in 2016-17 resulted in the second-lowest statewide fawn survival rate on record, meaning fewer animals were recruited into the herds for the 2017 hunting seasons.

Those male fawns would have been two-points, or spikes, in the fall of 2017 had they survived, which typically account for a large portion of the mule deer buck harvest. In response to that harsh winter, Fish and Game wildlife managers cut back on antlerless opportunities to protect breeding-age does and help prime the population for a rebound.

Those circumstances resulted in 2,517 fewer antlerless mule deer and 3,709 fewer two points or spikes being harvested in 2017 than 2016. The drop in doe and young buck harvest (spikes and two-points) accounted for more than half of the overall drop in the mule deer harvest in 2017.

There wasn’t much of an increase in antlerless harvest in 2018, as most of the protections for breeding-age does remained in place, but there was a bump in the number of young bucks harvested in 2018 compared to 2017 – a result of an average winter across most of the state and a return to average fawn survival rates.

This age group of bucks accounted for the majority of the uptick in mule deer harvest numbers from the 2017 to the 2018 season. Hunters took 8,975 bucks with two points or less in 2018, up from 6,562 in 2017 – an increase of 2,413 animals, or 38 percent.

(IDFG)

WHITE-TAILED DEER
At a glance
Total white-tailed deer: 25,134
Overall hunter success rate: 41.5 percent
Antlered: 15,163
Antlerless: 9,969
Taken during general hunts: 21,975 (40.2 percent success rate)
Taken during controlled hunts: 3,158 (53.8 percent success rate)

How it stacks up

Statewide, hunters took 1,368 fewer white-tailed deer in 2018 than they did in 2017, a decrease of about 5.2 percent. Despite the dip, white-tailed deer harvest in 2018 remained above the 10-year average of 24,191 animals harvested. It was the fifth-straight year that harvest exceeded 25,000 white-tailed deer. The all-time harvest record of 30,578 was set in 2015, and the 2018 harvest ranks fifth all time.

The vast majority of the white-tailed deer harvest occurs in the Northern Idaho. Hunters in the Panhandle region harvested 10,378 animals in 2018, down about 6.4 percent from the 11,084 white-tailed deer harvested in 2017. In the Clearwater region, hunters harvested 12,464 white-tailed deer in 2018, down about 6 percent from the 13,259 animals harvested in 2017.

“We can have plus or minus 15 to 20 percent in the harvest annually, due to the weather,” said Clay Hickey, Fish and Game’s Regional Wildlife Manager in the Clearwater Region. “Last fall was hot and dry, and we would have expected harvest to be down some without a change in hunter numbers.”

The overall decrease in white-tailed deer harvest was split fairly equally between antlered and antlerless animals: Antlered harvest in 2018 dropped 732 compared with 2017, while antlerless harvest fell by 638. Statewide, the success rate, hunter days, and percentage of five-points remained consistent with 2017.

Interactive NatGeo Yellowstone Elk Herd Exhibit On Display At RMEF HQ

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

Imagine being able to stand in one spot and yet you can witness the year-round migration of elk across the vast Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Now you can do so thanks to a collaborative effort between the National Geographic Society, Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

VISITORS PERUSE THE “INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES” EXHIBIT AT THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION’S CENTER IN MISSOULA. (RMEF)

Invisible Boundaries, a highly interactive exhibit created by National Geographic and based on years of scientific data, is now on display at RMEF headquarters.

“This is an amazing exhibit that follows the migration routes of nine different elk herds throughout the Yellowstone region,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We appreciate the good folks at National Geographic in allowing us to host this display and we encourage everyone to come check it out.”

“The Invisible Boundaries exhibit ended up at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because that’s where it belongs,” said Chris Johns, Beyond Yellowstone program leader for the National Geographic Society. “RMEF is about elk and education and helping people understand the intricacies and wonder of elk.”


Concerned about closures in your area? Book the world’s best salmon and halibut fishing in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Canada. Click HERE to learn more.

Featuring an interactive map, vivid animation, video and photography by Joe Riis, and artwork by James Prosek, the exhibit captures years of scientific information gathered by Arthur Middleton, professor at UC-Berkeley and National Geographic fellow, and state and federal agencies. It presents an ecosystem-wide overview of the dynamic movements of elk herds. Scientists used camera traps, radio tracking, observation and analysis to further the understanding of how elk and other living things interact across the landscape.

“If you think about large landscape connectivity and large landscape conservation, it’s important to think of elk not just in Yellowstone, but to think about how they move across the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. And that’s what this exhibit helps people understand,” added Johns.

It is fitting that the Invisible Boundaries exhibit is now on display at RMEF headquarters. In 2006, RMEF worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to provide funding for research that eventually led to the Wyoming Migration Initiative, the project from which the exhibit is created. In total, RMEF offered six years of funding to assist the project and still provides funding for ongoing elk research in the area.

RMEF’s headquarters is located at 5705 Grant Creek Road in Missoula, Montana. It is free and open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

4 Elk Poached, Wasted In 2 Oregon Coast Counties

Oregon wildlife troopers are asking for the public’s help to solve a trio of recent poaching cases involving four elk and a hawk.

TWO OF THREE COW ELK FOUND DEAD EAST OF TILLAMOOK EARLIER THIS MONTH. (OSP)

They say that the three cows and five-point bull were found earlier this month in Tillamook and Lincoln Counties, all shot by a rifle, and they say a redtail found injured in Jackson County had been shot as well.

The cow elk were investigated Jan. 12 and were found in a clear-cut 2.5 miles up a road off Highway 6 in the Fox Creek area east of Tillamook. OSP reported that they had been killed with a high-powered rifle and left to waste, but said that evidence was gathered at the scene.

Tipsters are being asked to call OSP Dispatch (503-842-4433) and reference case number SP19-013862.

As for the bull, it was found by a landowner on Jan. 8 near Hidden Valley Road just west of Toledo.

It too was left to waste, OSP reported. Informants are being told to contact Trooper Jason Adkins (800-452-7888; 541-961-8859; TIP@state.or.us) and to reference case SP19-022825.

And the hawk was found Jan. 16 in Central Point behaving oddly and determined to have been shot. It was captured and taken to a local wildlife rehab center but died from its injury.

Anyone with info can call OSP dispatch (541-776-6111) and reference case SP19-018083.

‘Great Victory … For Elk And Elk Habitat’: OHA On US Judge’s Ochoco NF Trail Decision

THE FOLLOWING IS AN OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE

A U.S. District Court Judge in Portland today upheld the August findings of a Pendleton Magistrate Judge, siding with the Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) and other groups who filed suit to stop the U.S. Forest Service from building an additional 137 miles of off highway vehicle (OHV) trails in critical elk habitat on the Ochoco National Forest.

(JIM WARD, OHA)

District Judge Marco Hernandez adopted the findings of Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan, who on Aug. 27, ruled for OHA on four of the five claims made against the project. Finding that the Forest Service made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to approve the project, she recommended that the Record of Decision be set aside. The judge’s decision essentially kills the project unless the Forest Service goes back to the drawing board.

OHA, a nonprofit group of more than 10,000 hunters, filed a lawsuit in 2017 challenging the Forest Service’s Record of Decision to implement the project. OHA’s claims that the project violated road density standards in the Ochoco National Forest Plan and didn’t adequately address protection for elk during calving and rutting seasons prevailed.

“It’s a great victory for OHA and for elk and elk habitat on the forest,” said OHA attorney Scott Jerger. “Judge Hernandez adopted and agreed with all of the Magistrate Judge’s rulings on OHA’s legal claims. The project is now officially dead, and the Forest Service must return to the drawing board to address the numerous legal deficiencies in its analysis.”

Jim Akenson, OHA’s conservation director, was pleased with the decision.

“It’s a good day for elk, hunters, and conservation,” said Akenson. “OHA is not opposed to responsible OHV use, we are just opposed to the disturbance and displacement of elk in critical habitat that would move them off public land onto nearby private land, where they would get themselves into trouble. We filed this lawsuit as a last resort.”

The Ochoco Mountains have historically been some of the best habitat for deer and elk in Oregon. Information published on ODFW’s website reveals that hunting contributes more than $14 million to central Oregon’s tourism economy and more than $104 million to the statewide tourism economy on an annual basis.

OHA’s successful suit was funded by OHA’s Hunter’s Victory Fund and Wildlife SuperFund, with major contributions from OHA’s Bend Chapter and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

OHA (oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.”

Deadline To Report 2018 Oregon Big Game, Turkey Tags Extended To Mid-April

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The deadline to report all 2018 big game and turkey tags has been extended until April 15, 2019 (from Jan. 31) to give hunters more time to report under ODFW’s new licensing system.

OREGON HUNTERS WILL HAVE THROUGH MID-APRIL TO REPORT THEIR 2018 RESULTS. THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY’S CARL LEWALLEN HARVESTED THIS NICE BLACKTAIL DURING THE LAST HOUR OF THE LATE SEASON. (HUNTING PHOTO CONTEST)

The new deadline applies to all 2018 deer, elk, cougar, bear, antelope and turkey tags. Anyone who purchased one of these tags needs to report—even if they were not successful or didn’t go hunting.

Hunters who fail to report a 2018 deer or elk tag by the new deadline of April 15, 2019 will have to pay $25 when they go to purchase their 2020 annual hunting license.

Hunters are encouraged to report online at ODFW’s Licensing page after using the “Verify/Look Up Account” button to find their account in the new licensing system. After verifying their account, hunters will be able to report and see other account information such as preference points, previous year’s application history, and have the option of going paperless for 2019 license and tags.

Hunters can also report by phone to ODFW’s Licensing Division (503) 947-6101. However, ODFW’s Licensing Division is currently experiencing high call volumes from hunters who want to report by phone or have questions about the new licensing system. The deadline extension will help reduce hold times for customers.

Some hunters who inadvertently created a new account online (rather than verifying/looking up their existing account) are not seeing their tags to report on in the online system. Hunters who are experiencing this problem should send an email to ODFW.Websales@state.or.us that includes the ODFW ID# for their incorrect account and their Hunter/Angler ID# (printed on all licenses/tags from 2018 and prior). The problem will be corrected with 10 business days and hunters will be able to report online.

“We are extending the deadline to provide better customer service to our hunters as they get familiar with our new licensing system,” said Doug Cottam, ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator. “We really appreciate hunters taking time to report, even if they did not hunt or weren’t successful.”

Ways to report your big game or turkey tag:

Online – The fastest and easiest way to report. Go to MyODFW.com and click the green “Buy License/Report Hunt” button. If you have not already verified your account on the new system, use the “Verify/Look Up Account” button (see image) and enter your Hunter/Angler ID (printed on all 2018 and prior licenses and tags) as the ODFW ID, or your email or phone number plus last name and date of birth, to find your profile in the system. After completing account verification online, go under Outcome Reporting (see image) and click “Mandatory Reporting” or “Hunting & Fishing Outcome Reporting” to complete your reports for each big game or turkey tag. Note that a unique email address (not shared by anyone else in the system, including a relative) is required for anyone age 12 and older to create an online account and report online.

Computers are also available at some ODFW offices (Adair Village/Corvallis, Bend, Clackamas, La Grande, Portland-Sauvie Island, Roseburg, Salem Headquarters, Springfield, Tillamook) to Verify/Look Up your account and report online.

By phone – Call ODFW Licensing Division at (503) 947-6101 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). Have your 2018 license or tag available to provide your Hunter/Angler ID number. ODFW staff who take your call will take a few extra minutes to verify your account in the new system. Important note: the number printed in 2018 Oregon Big Game Regulations (1-866-947-6339) was managed by the old license vendor so reports can no longer be accepted at that number.

The information hunters provide through these reports is used to help understand big game population trends and for setting controlled hunt tag numbers and hunting seasons. Hunter reports help ODFW determine how many people went hunting, how many big game animals were harvested, plus antler points and success rates for each hunt—information which is posted at ODFW’s Big Game Hunting Harvest Statistics page at https://myodfw.com/articles/big-game-hunting-harvest-statistics

Chance to win special big game tag

Hunters that report on time are entered into a drawing to win a special big game tag. ODFW selects three names each year and the winners can choose a deer, elk, or pronghorn tag. Hunters who win get an expanded hunt area and extended season, similar to auction and raffle tags.

Salvaging Roadkilled Deer, Elk Set To Begin In Oregon; Here Are Rules, Where To Get Free Permit

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, deer and elk struck by vehicles can be legally salvaged in Oregon using a free online permit that will be available at www.odfw.com/roadkill

BACON-WRAPPED ELK STEAKS SALVAGED FROM A ROADKILLED ELK IN WASHINGTON. (RANDY HART JR.)

The change in law was required after the passage of Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislative session.

Following are the key regulations to follow to legally salvage a roadkilled deer or elk:

·        The free online permit application found at www.odfw.com/roadkill must be submitted within 24 hours of salvaging a deer or elk. (Note that completing an online permit is not allowed until the animal is actually salvaged as specific information about location, date and time of salvage is required.)

·        Only deer and elk accidently struck by a vehicle may be salvaged and for human consumption of the meat only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk remains unlawful.

·        White-tailed deer may only be salvaged from Douglas County and east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains because of the protected status for white-tailed deer in most of western Oregon.

·        The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.

·        Any person (not just the driver who struck the animal) may salvage a deer or elk killed by a vehicle.

·        Only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage an animal in cases where a deer or elk is injured and then humanely dispatched to alleviate suffering; law enforcement must also be immediately notified as required by state Statute (ORS 498.016).

·        Antlers and head of all salvaged animals must be surrendered to an ODFW office within five business days of taking possession of the carcass; see office location list at www.odfw.com/roadkill and call ahead to schedule an appointment. (Tissue samples from the head will be tested as part of the state’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.)

·        While antlers and heads must be surrendered, other parts such as the hide may be kept by the roadkill salvage permit holder.

·        Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under the roadkill permit program.

·        The state of Oregon is also not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.

·        Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat.

The new rules apply only to deer and elk. It remains unlawful to salvage other game mammals including pronghorn antelope, bears and cougars. Find out more at www.odfw.com/roadkill